The Challenge

Aerospace Environmental Control Units For Salt-air Environment

Air Innovations was tasked with creating an aerospace environmental control unit (ECU) to support various needs of a major aerospace industry client. This client is located in close proximity to the ocean, which makes salt corrosion a concern. The ECU would need to be protected against the salt environment in order to preserve longevity. Ambient conditions were expected to be 95Fdb/80Fwb in the summer and 19Fdb/16Fwb during winter.

The Solution

Three painted-aluminum aerospace environmental control units were needed for this project, with ECUs 1 & 2 being identical at 1,000-4,000CFM capacity and ECU 3 being at 500-1,800CFM capacity. All three aerospace cooling units capitalize on once-through air delivered at 36” wc static pressure and feature salt-environment protective coatings to prevent corrosion from the salt environment. These aerospace environmental control units were designed to control temperature to within ±5°F for any set point in the range 70-95°F and include humidifiers to keep humidity within 30%-50% RH.  The finished products also include hot-gas bypass refrigeration control variable speed scroll compressors and electric re-heat.

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As part of the solution, Air Innovations provided an on-site start-up technician to complete post-shipment start-up and training.

The Result

  • Three separate painted-aluminum aerospace environmental control units were created for this project
  • Each ECU measured 16’L X 6.5’W X 11’H
  • The ECUs used once-through air, controlled remotely by control-room computers
  • 70°F – 95°F ± 5°F temperature control; 30% – 50% RH ±2% RH
  • Variable speed-scroll compressors and hot gas bypass were used to manage refrigerant unloading
  • Humidification capacity equals 172 lbs/hr (ECUs 1 & 2) and 85 lbs/hr (ECU 3)
  • 60 kW (ECUs 1 & 2) and 30 kW (ECU 3) of electric re-heat
  • ISO Class 8 filtration to 99.95% @ 0.3µ HEPA
  • Designed for 20-year life

If you are interested in seeing more case studies for the aerospace industry, look at the items below. If you would like to see case studies for other industries, view our general case studies page. We also have whitepapers available covering the aerospace industry, the semiconductor industry, and our Micro Environments product line. These whitepapers can be found here.